Is It Safe And Effective?

The search for more natural and holistic treatments is now being preferred by many people, not just for themselves but for their beloved pets. Issues like joint pain, arthritis, inflammation, strains and sprains, and injuries often require synthetic medications and invasive treatments. But if you don’t want your body and your furry pal’s body to be subjected to these kinds of treatments, there are other options that you can try, such as herbal remedies and red-light therapy. 

red light therapy for dogs
red light therapy for dogs

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy (RLT) is a relatively new treatment technique that uses low-level red wavelengths to address various conditions like skin issues, persistent wounds, and pain and inflammation. In recent years, red light therapy devices have surged in sales as many people have seen promising results, and some were surprised that they could use it for arthritis or even skin conditions of their furry pals.  

In 2020, the interest in phototherapy treatment advanced the technology for home devices, and its market value reached USD$149.2 million.   

A Brief History Of Red Light Therapy

The discovery of red light’s efficacy in treating skin conditions and wound healing was accidental when a physician in 1967 named Endre Mester wanted to confirm an experiment by a fellow physician Paul McGuff about using the ruby laser to cure malignant tumors.  

But instead of curing the tumors he surgically implanted in rats, the custom-made laser heightened the hair growth and accelerated the wound healing of the subjects. That’s because the ruby laser he created contained only a tiny fraction of the original laser. 

In 1993, Light Emitting Diode or LED became widely used because it was more cost-effective and safer. That same year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) discovered that red light’s wavelength stimulated plants’ growth in space. To the researchers’ surprise, the exposed parts of their bodies with skin lesions unexpectedly healed rapidly. 

How Does RLT Work?

The body of humans and animals contain cells called mitochondria. Red light supposedly energizes these cells so that they can do their work efficiently. Mitochondria help repair skin, give birth to new cells, and enhance skin rejuvenation. 

Red light therapy is believed to help dogs in the following ways: 

  • Enhance muscle strength – It’s believed that very active dogs, like working dogs and dogs who suffer from an injury, may recover more quickly with several sessions of RLT. The parts of their body that have worked hard over time and those that have been idle for an extended period, being in a cast, may regain strength faster with this treatment.  
  • Stimulate healing of joints – The red light can penetrate the muscle, bone, and tissue, help the blood circulate better in that area, and deliver an energy boost to speed up the healing process. 
  • Helps improve neurological damage – Dogs that suffer a traumatic brain injury or a degenerative brain disease may benefit from RLT as it supposedly helps heal the brain faster. 
  • Reduce pain and inflammation – Red light therapy may remedy an injury, surgery, or persistent chronic pain in your dog. The red light supposedly blocks the transmission of pain to nerve fibers so that your pet can have a respite from the pain.  
  • Helps improve wound healing and allergies – A dog with skin conditions and allergies can have several sessions of RLT. The cell’s mitochondria will receive the much-needed energy boost so that your dog’s skin can heal by itself in no time.  

The Side Effect of RLT

Red light therapy is safe when used correctly. Although reports of people and animals suffering from burns and blisters have surfaced, it was found that it’s due to incorrect usage. Those who used it and fell asleep and those that used broken wires experienced burns due to device corrosion and electrical fire.

Red Light Therapy Safety On Your Pup

Red light therapy is a noninvasive treatment that’s painless and considered safe for humans and animals. Iit’s also important to note that no evidence supports that dogs can even see red light. However, if you have concerns about using it on your pup, it’d be best to consult your veterinarian first.  

Red Light Therapy Effectiveness On Dogs

Red light therapy is relatively new, and studies on its effectiveness as a treatment for dogs are few. However, one study in 2017 showed that 27 dogs undergoing surgery recovered faster than the placebo group.  

You may want to try this for your pet as a supplemental treatment. If you have any apprehensions about it, it’d be best to ask your veterinarian about it.  


You only want the best for your furry best friend. It’s difficult to see them in pain. The limitless love, protection, and loyalty they give you is something you need to return with equal fervor. Dogs have a shorter time on earth compared to you, so giving them the best care is only imperative. If using RLT can benefit them, you might consider this option to help treat their muscle weakness, skin conditions, and joint pains.   

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